NFL Betting: NFL Matchups for Week 14

NFL Betting Trends

Here at Bang the Book, we have all of the top matchups of the 2012 NFL betting campaign covered! Today, we’re taking a look at the best matchups for Week 14!

Kansas City Chiefs (2-10 SU, 5-7 ATS) @ Cleveland Browns (4-8 SU, 7-4-1 ATS)
Spread: Cleveland -6.5, Total: 37.5

Cleveland Browns Stadium, Cleveland, OH – Sunday, December 9th, 1:00 ET

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It feels like the last time the Browns were favored by 6.5 points was in the Nixon Administration… Alas, Cleveland is still hanging on tight to the slim hopes that it has to make the postseason this year, but more importantly, it is trying to prove that it can stick around with the best in the league and beat the worst that the NFL has to offer. KC is coming off of just its second win of the season, but it is still clearly one of the worst teams in the NFL. These two have only met five times since the rebirth of the Browns, and the Chiefs hold a 3-2 SU and ATS edge. Four of the five games have eclipsed the ‘total’ as well, though the most recent game, a 16-14 game here in Cleveland in 2010, didn’t get to the number by a healthy eight-point margin.

Philadelphia Eagles (3-9 SU, 3-9 ATS) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-6 SU, 8-3-1 ATS)
Spread: Tampa Bay -7.5, Total: 47.5

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL – Sunday, December 9th, 1:00 ET

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The Eagles and the Bucs are two more of the teams that are clearly going in opposite directions this year. Philly has been eliminated from the playoffs and is certainly going to be looking for a new coach and a new quarterback next year. Tampa Bay is just starting to get some consistency under the direction of Head Coach Greg Schiano, and it is going in the right direction and could make the second season. It’s going to take a big effort in the final quarter of the year to happen though, and losing this game just isn’t an option. Three years ago these teams met in the City of Brotherly Love, and the Eagles came up with a 33-14 win in a game in which they were favored by a whopping 15.5 points. Tampa Bay is favored for the first time in this series since the 2002 playoffs, and the last time the Bucs covered as a favored against the Eagles was back in 1999. Tampa Bay does hold a 3-1 SU and ATS edge since the 2003 playoffs in this series, though.

St. Louis Rams (5-6-1 SU, 8-4 ATS) @ Buffalo Bills (5-7 SU, 6-6 ATS)
Spread: Buffalo -3, Total: 42.5

Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, NY – Sunday, December 9th, 1:00 ET

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If you look very closely at the NFL standings, you might be surprised to see that neither the Rams nor the Bills are out of it, and in fact, the winner of this one is probably going to probably have around a 40% chance of getting into the second season. It’s amazing to think that this St. Louis outfit could be 6-6-1 at the end of this one, but though it has the better record, it has the harder schedule remaining. Buffalo has a very manageable schedule and can really still run down the Steelers and the Bengals if it can win out, but winning this game is a requirement for that to happen. There is just no margin for error for these two teams, and though a loss won’t mathematically eliminate either, this is probably essentially a playoff game for both. The Bills have gone 5-1 SU and ATS in this series dating back to 1989, and all six games have exceeded the ‘total’ as well.

New York Jets (5-7 SU, 6-6 ATS) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (2-10 SU, 6-6 ATS)
Spread: New York -2.5, Total: 38.5

EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL – Sunday, December 9th, 1:00 ET

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If you thought that the last Jets game was ugly against the Cardinals, you might not have seen anything yet. QB Mark Sanchez is going to get the start on Sunday even though he was yanked out of that game in favor of a third straight quarterback last week. Meanwhile, Jacksonville is going to bring its banged up team into this game, knowing that there could be as many as three running backs on the shelf. The Jets are still, believe it or not and contrary to popular belief, still in the thick of things in the AFC playoff picture. The team though, has failed to cover six out of seven in this series dating back to 1999, and the Jets have only won two of those seven games outright. Of course, the last meeting was one of those victories, a 32-3 triumph last year at MetLife Stadium.

Dallas Cowboys (6-6 SU, 4-8 ATS) @ Cincinnati Bengals (7-5 SU, 6-5-1 ATS)
Spread: Cincinnati -3, Total: 45.5

Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH – Sunday, December 9th, 1:00 ET

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The Cowboys and Bengals are both very similar teams this year. They have been through a lot, including a few really dull spells in the campaign, but both are just on the outside of the playoffs and know that a solid last quarter of the season will get them into the second season. QB Tony Romo and QB Andy Dalton have thrown a lot of picks between them this year, and they are both going to be playing against relatively opportunistic defenses in this one. Dallas is a game back of the Giants in the NFC East and the Seahawks in the NFC Wild Card, while the Bengals are just the tiebreaker down to the Steelers for the last slot in the AFC. These two teams though, are a combined 7-1 in their last eight games. Cincy has covered two straight against the Cowboys, and the home team has gone 5-1 ATS and SU dating back to 1991.

San Diego Chargers (4-8 SU, 5-7 ATS) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (7-5 SU, 5-6-1 ATS)
Spread: Pittsburgh -7.5, Total: 42.5

Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, PA – Sunday, December 9th, 1:00 ET

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The Chargers know that this is the final straw of their season. They haven’t played well all year long, and at 4-8, they will be mathematically eliminated if they lose to the Steelers. Pittsburgh is likely to put San Diego out of its misery at some point whether this one is won or not, but this is the easiest road to doing so. The Bolts have dropped four in a row SU and three of the last four and six of the last eight from an ATS standpoint. Pittsburgh is expected to get back QB Ben Roethlisberger for this game, and the squad was 3-0 SU and ATS in games that he was playing in before getting hurt against the Chiefs. The Steelers are 7-2 ATS in the last nine in this series. This is the fourth visit since 2008 for the Bolts to Heinz Field. They’re 0-3 SU and just 1-2 ATS in those outings.

Tennessee Titans (4-8 SU, 4-8 ATS) @ Indianapolis Colts (8-4 SU, 8-4 ATS)
Spread: Indianapolis -5.5, Total: 48

Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN – Sunday, December 9th, 1:00 ET

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The Colts are moving towards a very improbable playoff spot on the back of QB Andrew Luck, and they are doing so in style. They stormed back from down 12 last week in Detroit to take the game on the final play, and that was one of the more emotional wins in the franchise’s history. Indy knows that wins are still needed though, and only four of them in their final four games of the year will absolutely guarantee that it is getting into the playoffs, and with two of those games in the final three coming against Houston, it still could be hairy. To stay in the AFC South race, this is a game that has to likely be won. The Titans are on the verge of extinction this year, and a loss to the Colts would guarantee just that happening. Indianapolis has won and covered back to back in this series, including a 19-13 overtime win at LP Field in October.

Baltimore Ravens (9-3 SU, 5-6-1 ATS) @ Washington Redskins (6-6 SU, 7-5 ATS)
Spread: Washington -2, Total: 47.5

FedEx Field, Landover, MD – Sunday, December 9th, 1:00 ET

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The Redskins and the Ravens are separated by just a short bus ride, and this year, they might not be separated by all that much on the field either. Washington’s QB Robert Griffin III is all the craze right now, as he led the team to the biggest win it has had in quite some time by beating the Giants last week on Monday Night Football. Now, he can do it again if he can take down the Ravens, which could get Washington back on the right side of the playoff picture for the first time in quite some time. Baltimore is sliding, and weeks and weeks of close calls finally caught up with the team this past week when it was beaten by the Steelers. Now, a loss and all of a sudden, the AFC North title isn’t a given any longer. Baltimore has won and covered the last two in this series. Four in a row and six out of seven have failed to reach the ‘total’.

Atlatna Falcons (11-1 SU, 7-4-1 ATS) @ Carolina Panthers (3-9 SU, 5-7 ATS)
Spread: Atlanta –3.5, Total: 48

Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC – Sunday, December 9th, 1:00 ET

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The Falcons are coasting right now towards the top seed in the NFC playoffs, and a win parlayed with some help from some of the best teams in the conference would clinch up that slot. The NFC South has already been won, and the fact of the matter is that a first round bye is merely a formality, so there is reason to think that this could be a game in which the team slips. Carolina had been playing better ball before an inexplicable loss in Kansas City last weekend that ended any chance that the team had of an improbable comeback to get into the playoffs. QB Cam Newton and company challenged the Falcons at the Georgia Dome this year, losing by just two points in a game that was very winnable, but that was their first cover after losing four in a row SU and ATS prior to that.

Chicago Bears (8-4 SU, 6-5-1 ATS) @ Minnesota Vikings (6-6 SU, 4-7-1 ATS)
Spread: Chicago -3, Total: 39

Mall of America Field at the H.H.H. Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN – Sunday, December 9th, 1:00 ET

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The season started with such high hopes for the Vikings, but if this one is lost, the campaign is going to be over with for all intents and purposes. This is a game that is being billed as one of the biggest that the Vikes have played since losing the NFC Championship Game a few years ago to the Saints in the Bayou. QB Jay Cutler and the gang in the Windy City have been struggling as well, losing three out of four, but the one win did come against these Vikes. The Bears have won and covered six in a row in this series, and they had better hope that they do so again, or else they are going to be thrown back into the mix with a bunch of other teams in the thick of the NFC playoff race and might all of a sudden not make the playoffs.

Miami Dolphins (5-7 SU, 5-6-1 ATS) @ San Francisco 49ers (8-3-1 SU, 7-5 ATS)
Spread: San Francisco -10, Total: 38.5

Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA – Sunday, December 9th, 4:05 ET

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If the Dolphins are going to find a way to save their season, this is a game that they are going to have to win. They’re 5-7 and two back of the AFC Wild Card slots with just four to play, and it isn’t likely that both the Bengals and Steelers trip more than twice more apiece. San Fran is all of a sudden looking over its shoulder a bit in the NFC West chase with just a game and a half edge over the Seahawks after two terrible showings against the Rams. Still, QB Colin Kaepernick has the job over QB Alex Smith for the time being as the starting quarterback for the Niners in spite of their up and down results, and the hope is that he can lead this team to the No. 2 seed in the NFC, where it currently sits. The Fins have won back to back games SU in this series, but the 49ers are 5-1 ATS since 1986.

Arizona Cardinals (4-8 SU, 5-6-1 ATS) @ Seattle Seahawks (7-5 SU, 8-4 ATS)
Spread: Seattle -10, Total: 36

CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA – Sunday, December 9th, 4:25 ET

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Way back in Week 1, the Cardinals were slender one-point home underdogs and were considered to get off to a great start to the year when they were able to hang on and beat the Seahawks. Seattle was a team that was supposed to compete for a playoff spot this year, but losing that game was a bad step in the wrong direction. Alas since that point, the Hawks have gotten some lucky breaks and have won seven out of 11, while the Cards are 0-8 since a 4-0 start to the season. Now, Arizona’s season will officially come to an end in this game is lost. Seattle has the home field advantage on its side, and the Cardinals haven’t won here since 2009. Arizona has covered six out of nine in this series, but the home team is 6-2 ATS in the last eight, so something has to give when this one kicks off.

New Orleans Saints (5-7 SU, 6-6 ATS) @ New York Giants (7-5 SU, 5-7 ATS)
Spread: New York -5, Total: 53

MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, NJ – Sunday, December 9th, 4:25 ET

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This is one of those games that really makes you love the fact that you’re a football fan. The points should be hitting the board en masse in this one, knowing that both QB Eli Manning and QB Drew Brees can really light it up. Both of these squads are going to be playing with a sense of desperation as well. New Orleans will be almost certainly eliminated from the playoffs if it loses this one, though a win could at least keep things interesting over the course of the last three games of the year. The Giants are still in front in the NFC East, but they are only a game up on both the Redskins and the Cowboys. Losing this one opens the door for both teams to force a tie, and the G-Men are in a heck of a lot of trouble in divisional tiebreakers when push comes to shove. The Saints have won and covered three straight in this series, and they have scored 49, 48, and 30 points in those games, all wins that have come by at least 21 points.

Detroit Lions (4-8 SU, 4-7-1 ATS) @ Green Bay Packers (8-4 SU, 6-6 ATS)
Spread: Green Bay -6.5, Total: 50

Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI – Sunday, December 9th, 8:20 ET

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The Packers started off the year in poor shape, but they have clawed back and are once again sitting atop the NFC North. They can put their divisional foes out of their misery once and for all in this one, though it’s hard to see any way that Detroit can get off of the mat after blowing a third straight very winnable game last week. The poor Lions are just 0-4 SU and 1-3 ATS in their last four, but they were good enough to win, and should have won at least two of the three. Green Bay has won six out of seven and is 5-2 ATS in those games. It has dominated the Lions over the years as well, going 9-1 SU and 8-2 ATS since the end of the 2007 season in this rivalry. A win for the Packers parlayed with some help could just about get them into the playoffs this year definitively, though it will mathematically take until at least Week 15 or 16 for that to happen.

Houston Texans (11-1 SU, 8-4 ATS) @ New England Patriots (9-3 SU, 7-4-1 ATS)
Spread: New England -3, Total: 51

Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA – Monday, December 10th, 8:30 ET

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Is this is the biggest game on the entire NFL docket this year to date? It’s certainly the biggest regular season game in the history of the Texans, as they might be able to clinch the top seed in the AFC and the AFC South title if they can win this one. It’s going to take a lot of mathematical help for that to happen, but a win over the Pats would give the team victories over all three of the other teams that are going to win divisions this year, and just one more triumph would put everyone else away. New England already has the AFC East title in tote after beating the Dolphins last week, but it has a lot of work to do if it is going to stay in front of Baltimore and Denver for the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs. Of course, Head Coach Bill Belichick knows that this is going to be the last chance to get up to the No. 1 seed. The road to the Super Bowl doesn’t quite go through Gillette Stadium at this point, but it most certainly will go through Reliant Stadium if the Texans win. The last time these two met, Houston won 34-27 in a Week 17 battle that nearly put the hosts in the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

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Adam Markowitz

is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.

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